The Apprentice: My Life in the Kitchen

The Apprentice: My Life in the Kitchen

Audio CD(Unabridged CD)

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Overview

In this captivating memoir, the man whom Julia Child has called "the best chef in America" tells the story of his rise from a frightened apprentice in an exacting Old World kitchen to an Emmy Awardwinning superstar who taught millions of Americans how to cook and shaped the nation's tastes in the bargain.
We see young Jacques as a homesick six-year-old boy in war-ravaged France, working on a farm in exchange for food, dodging bombs, and bearing witness as German soldiers capture his father, a fighter in the Resistance. Soon Jacques is caught up in the hurly-burly action of his mother's café, where he proves a natural. He endures a literal trial by fire and works his way up the ladder in the feudal system of France's most famous restaurant, finally becoming Charles de Gaulle's personal chef, watching the world being refashioned from the other side of the kitchen door.
When he comes to America, Jacques immediately falls in with a small group of as-yet-unknown food lovers, including Craig Claiborne, James Beard, and Julia Child, whose adventures redefine American food. Through it all, Jacques proves himself to be a master of the American art of reinvention: earning a graduate degree from Columbia University, turning down a job as John F. Kennedy's chef to work at Howard Johnson's, and, after a near-fatal car accident, switching careers once again to become a charismatic leader in the revolution that changed the way Americans approached food. Included as well are approximately forty all-time favorite recipes created during the course of a career spanning nearly half a century, from his mother's utterly simple cheese soufflé to his wife's pork ribs and red beans.
The Apprentice is the poignant and sometimes funny tale of a boy's coming of age. Beyond that, it is the story of America's culinary awakening and the transformation of food from an afterthought to a national preoccupation.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780618331260
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Publication date: 04/10/2003
Edition description: Unabridged CD
Pages: 10
Product dimensions: 4.90(w) x 5.70(h) x 1.90(d)

About the Author

The winner of sixteen James Beard Awards and author of twenty-nine cookbooks, including A Grandfather’s Lessons, Jacques Pépin Heart & Soul in the Kitchen, and Essential Pépin, Jacques Pépin has starred in twelve acclaimed PBS cooking series. He was awarded France’s highest distinction, the Legion of Honor.

Table of Contents


Contents Acknowledgments · vii 1. The War Years · 1 2. The Call of the Stove ·23 3. My Apprenticeship · 46 4. Seasons ·66 5. Paris · 76 6. The Plaza Athénée · 88 7. Cooking for Presidents · 106 8. Home Again · 128 9. New York, New World · 134 10. Only in America · 151 11. Cooking with Friends · 168 12. Gloria · 185 13. Living Off the Land · 200 14. Soup’s On · 216 15. Teaching · 224 16. Writing · 250 17. Television · 262 18. Gloria’s Restaurant · 272 19. A New Way to Cook · 286 Index · 295

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Apprentice 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 28 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
As satisfying as a 5-star meal, as delicious as his mother's cheese souffle, Jacques Pepin's autobiography is rich in scenes, friends, recipes, and anecdotes. Surely one of the most famous chefs in the world who came into homes through his PBS cooking shows and popular cookbooks, Pepin now reveals the story behind the public face. Born in prewar France to a cabinetmaker and an energetic woman who owned a small restaurant Pepin was enamored with the kitchen as a youth. He left his formal education behind at the age of 13 to sign on as an apprentice in the arduous training system then required. It was a difficult road he had chosen in a system reminiscent of feudal days. Yet the young man persevered, and before the age of twenty found himself in France's most elite restaurant. Next, he would become personal chef to Charles de Gaulle. After coming to America he numbered among his friends those with like interests and gifts - Julia Child and James Beard. He also earned a degree from Columbia University, and began to work for Howard Johnson. A serious automobile accident might have meant the end of anyone's career, but not Pepin's. When he was unable to keep up the daily routine in a kitchen he became a cooking teacher, and a television icon. 'The Apprentice: My Life In The Kitchen' is a joy to read and savor.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Pepin has as much flair for storytelling as he does for cooking. A delightful, charming and touching memoir.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This autobiography is well written and very readable. Jacques Pepin tells his story of growing up in France during W.W.II when he was a young boy. His book has the recipes he ate in his family home and in his mother's restaurant. His career spans helping in his mother's restaurant, apprenticing in French restaurants, cooking for French Presidents, and traveling to America to work as a chef and much more. I recommend this book to anyone, and especially to anyone who cooks in their own kitchen.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is the thoughtful story of a man who has had a truly amazing life. A great read! Includes wonderful recipes.
laweiman on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
In April 2011, I attended the Buffalo Gap Food and Wine Festival, at which I met Jacques Pepin, his daughter Claudine and his buddy Jean-Claude Szurdak. I had the opportunity to chat with them, eat with them, drink with them, watch them conduct food demonstrations, and have them sign this book for me. I started to read it the very next day on my way back east, but then, for some reason, set it aside to read other things and do a bit of cooking and gardening of my own. Yesterday I picked this book back up and finished devouring it in just a couple hours, sitting in the over stuffed chair in my front room with the windows open enjoying the unseasonably warm March weather. The joy of reading the last several chapters of Jacques' memoir reminded me of the warm, kind, gregarious man I met last year. I have been a fan of his for years, but after reading his book and learning about how he got to where he is - and meeting him and discovering that he has remained the down-to-earth, unpretentious boy from France with a big heart and open mind after all these years - has made me an even bigger fan. Thank you Jacques for a wonderful book, your delicious food and your inspiration to always follow your dreams!
piefuchs on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Quick, highly enjoyable read by a modest man who had an extraordinary life. His descriptions of his childhood in France are enlightening; his commentary on what has become of food (and foodies) in America is prescient. Appeared to be a very honest account of his experience.
maravedi on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A great book by a great culinary figure, Pepin's memoirs are as amusing and engaging as any of his shows or cookbooks. Jacques is one of the last members of the old guard, those professionally apprenticed chefs who climbed their way up from the scullery to the toque. Reading about his early life and his apprenticeship, the amusing mistakes and awesome triumphs in his career lets us peek into a method and era that really doesn't exist anymore in the kitchen. Though some restaurants and culinary schools have "apprentice" programs that seek to combine classroom and professional kitchen (we have 2 apprentices at the moment), it's a far cry from the cheerful tortures and bonding that happen in Pepin's experiences (though we do try our best, especially on the torture part!).Eminently readable, always amusing and surprisingly humble, THE APPRENTICE is a must read for any cook who wants to understand the history behind la methode.
msmalnick on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A fascinating look at an admirably humble man who worked his butt off to do well in life.
DawnFinley on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
One does get the feeling that, unlike many celebrity authors, Pépin actually did sit down and work very hard at writing this memoir himself. There are some little quirks in his mode of expression which, if you've seen his many television series, identify his warm, individual voice. The book is a lush and generous revelation of Pépin's lifelong relationship with all things gastronomical; some of the tales are not for the strict vegetarian or the faint-hearted. The detail he's able to generate when describing meals he made as a very young man is indeed impressive. Tremendously readable, unpretentious, humorous, brisk, and full of a deep, deep love of food and all the other human pleasures that come along with it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is food porn at its best and a fascinating story. Fans of Pepin will like him even more.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
All I can say is WOW!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Are you a foodie? Do you appreciate art in all its many forms? Does a sprinkling of history ignite your imagination? Then this book is for you! I'm sad to say that its over for me, but you have the opportunity to experience the wonderful journey this humble and gifted chef, Jacques Pepin, takes you on. Beautifully written, humorous, interesting, The Apprentice:My Life in the Kitchen, logs a culinary journey from a slice of time that no longer exists except thru these pages. From post-war France with all its traditions, thru to America with its new and open ideas towards food and culture - this was a fascinating read at every turn. Chef Pepins great insight and humility is refreshing fixed against todays celebrity chef and artsy approach to plating. I highly recommend this book to everyone!
LuvBigCats More than 1 year ago
Jacques is a very good storyteller. The book moves quickly and never gets boring or too technical. His playful personality shines through and it's very much like as you would hear him on his many TV shows. I recommend this book to anyone who may think that you're mildly interested (as I am); his storytelling will not disappoint and you will be looking forward to the next page, surprising even yourself how interested you could be.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Katrink More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed this book overall. I mostly enjoyed his younger years as a child and when he was first starting out as an apprentice. By the middle of the book he was an established chef and I got a little tired of all of the name dropping and self-congratulation. But it was still a good book overall.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is very funny and I love it you should try it :)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have been a fan of his cooking shows with and without his old friend Julia Child. Finally I learn what makes him tick and where his passion for food and it's preparation came from. Liked reading about his early years in America. Oh, to wish I were about ten years younger and he about 30, then. . .
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Jacques passion and dedication the the craft has inspired me to take the meals I have more seriously. The detail and color of his words are the likes of fiction.
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